“Loyal customers, they don’t just come back, they don’t simply recommend you, they insist that their friends do business with you.” – Chip Bell.
Customer loyalty is critical for businesses to succeed in today’s hypercompetitive marketplace. It drives customer repeat sales and help organizations thrive in an ever-evolving customer-centric landscape. But how do you build a loyal following? What conditions must be satisfied to ensure lasting customer loyalty? This blog discusses the six conditions a business must meet in order to earn a customer’s loyalty. Let’s get started!
What are the six conditions retail customers have?
Customers have six conditions that businesses must fulfill to both close a sale and build long-term customer loyalty, the six conditions are as follows:
- The right price
- Acceptable quality
- Good selection
- A positive customer experience
- Problem(s) solved
These conditions are based on unspoken expectations, meaning the conditions are elements of the shopping experience that consumers see, feel, and perceive, hence, unique to the individual. When all conditions are met, customers will form an emotional bond with the business and return for more purchases.
What is customer expectation?
From easy product access to the ability to contact you if they have questions, shoppers expect brands to make things as convenient as possible. A few factors that can help you give customers a simple shopping experience include Well-organized, searchable online inventory. A seamless checkout process.
Examples of customer expectations:
- Quick and easy resolutions to customer complaints
- Opportunities to answer questions themselves via help centers
- Access to preferred service channels
- Personalized experience
- Data protection and privacy
l) Price Expectations
“Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.”– Warren Buffet.
The retail price is what an end-user pays when the product finally sells. The retail price of a product signals what a consumer is willing to pay based on their perception of value. Factors like branding, and the company’s value proposition play a role in how customers evaluate a product.
Four main factors affect product pricing:
- Costs and Expenses.
- Supply and Demand.
- Consumer Perceptions.
Note: Pricing is crucial since it defines the utility it has for the consumer. The price point lets customers know whether it is worth their time and money. A price that is too cheap can be perceived as low quality or low value. Conversely, a price that is too high may turn potential buyers away.
Consumers have the following expectations when evaluating the retail price of an item:
- Expect the price to fairly represent the value of the product
- Expect the price to position the product relative to competing products (on the market)
- Expect the product will provide them with enough value based on their needs
- Expect the price to be similar to competitor pricing
- Expect the product to fulfill its value proposition
Finally, after the price meets consumer expectations, price helps them decide if they have the ability, willingness, and desire to pay for the product.
ll) Quality Expectations
Product quality is based on the level of benefits consumers gain from using it to satisfy their needs relative to cost. While most consumers agree that the quality of a product is essential, not everyone agrees on what constitutes “good quality.” For instance, some consumers may consider popular name brands to be high-quality, while others value durability, ease of use, or efficiency. Quality is a subjective constituent and is based on individual preference.
Note: Studies have shown that customers always return when a product meets quality expectations, even if the price is high. When customers trust a product, they’ll make repeat purchases and recommend the product or service to others.
What is a value proposition?
“Do what you do so well that they will want to see it again and bring their friends.” – Walt Disney.
One way to evaluate the quality of a product is to determine if it lives up to its value proposition.
A unique value proposition is an actionable identifier for your business that communicates why the product exists. For example, an Organization’s value proposition provides a declaration of intent or a statement that conveys a company’s purpose to consumers by explaining to them:
- What problem(s) the product solves?
- Who is the product intended for?
- What valuable benefits the product offers (versus alternatives)?
- How do the benefits make your business better and more competitive?
- How is the solution different from the competitor’s?
A company’s unique value proposition communicates the purpose of what it sells and the benefits to a select segment of consumers. Consider the following examples of value propositions:
Starbucks Value Proposition
Starbucks offers customers the finest coffee produced by themselves, with a solid commitment to creating a global social impact, served in stores that promote a welcoming and warm atmosphere where everyone can feel “like home.”
Walmart’s Value Proposition
Walmart’s value proposition reflects its business policy: It provides its customers with a wide variety of products, at the lowest price and in the most convenient way possible.
Winners’ Value Proposition
At WINNERS, value combines brand, fashion, price, and quality. Unlike traditional retailers, we generally don’t do promotions, sales, coupons, or other gimmicks – Just exciting merchandise at amazing prices every single day!
McDonald’s Value Proposition
McDonald’s is famous for its value proposition: food of a consistent quality that is served quickly and consistently across the globe.
Apple’s Value Proposition
Every iPhone we’ve made — and we mean every single one — was built on the same belief that a phone should be more than a collection of features that, above all, a phone should be absolutely simple, beautiful, and magical to use.
Amazon’s Value Proposition
Amazon’s business model is based on three value propositions: low price, fast delivery, and a wide selection of products.
TimeWellSchuduled’s Value Proposition
TimeWellScheduled is a: “is a complete scheduling solution you can rely on year-round to optimize staff hours, communicate shifts times, manage staff information & payroll all in one user-friendly, cloud-based system!”
Click: here to learn more about how we can add value to your business!
Good quality products must offer consumers: 1) a solid value proposition and; 2) reliably solve their problems. Thus, a product can be deemed good quality if it meets these criteria.
lll) Product Selection Expectations
Consumers like to have several product options to choose from; the greater the number of products, the more likely they will find an item or brand that matches their needs. Also, shoppers believe that having more choices empowers them and makes them feel confident in their purchases. This increases customer satisfaction and adds to a positive customer experience.
- 88% of shoppers surveyed say product selection/variety is important to them when deciding which brand or retailer to buy from (Thing With Google)
Moreover, studies have found that too many choices can overwhelm consumers, leading to fewer sales. The optimal number will depend on the business and product. However, retail experts have found that 3-6 choices per product type is a reasonable guideline.
lV) Convenience Expectations
It is difficult for retailers to compete based on providing customers with 2-3 of the 6 six expectations. If a retailer has a quality product at a fair price but is difficult for the customer to get a hold of, chances are the customer will look elsewhere for a more convenient product. In a competitive market, they will surely find it.
- 52% of shoppers said that half or more of their purchases are influenced by convenience (com)
Retailers must make all aspects of the customer experience easy for shoppers. For example, when an item an individual wants is convenient to acquire, the convenience reduces stress and adds comfort. So, addressing customers’ concerns promptly and making the purchasing process easy adds value to the entire shopping experience.
Convenience = A Good Customer Experience
V) Customer Experience Expectations
The digital age has raised the expectations of modern customer experience. For example, consumers expect efficient, reliable, and personalized customer service. Furthermore, they expect customer experiences to extend across all retail sales channels (i.e., in-store & e-commerce).
- 89% of businesses compete primarily based on customer experience (CX). (com)
- 73% of consumers say that CX is a deciding factor when making purchase decisions.
- 89% of customers express they would switch brands after an unpleasant experience,
- 42% of customers would not mind paying more when offered a warm and friendly customer experience.
Simply put, satisfied customers are more likely to make repeat purchases and share their positive experiences with family, friends, coworkers, and others. What’s more, they are more likely to try new products that your business has launched.
- According to a study by Motista, customers who have an emotional relationship with a brand have a 306% higher lifetime value and will likely recommend the company at a rate of 71%
Lastly, satisfied customers are the ones who have established emotional bonds with your company. “Understanding emotion makes it possible to capture the true voice of your customer and take steps to improve the customer journey to drive loyalty.”
VI) Product Solution Expectations
“People don’t want to buy a quarter-inch drill; they want a quarter-inch hole.” – Theodore Levitt.
Identifying a customer’s problem, need, or desire is essential because it provides the demand or reason for the consumer to purchase a good. So, it is helpful to view a consumer demand as a problem that needs a solution. A product is an item, system, or service made available for consumers use to solve a problem and satisfy a demand.
The following is a 5-step process for customer service problem-solving and troubleshooting when you come across a customer issue:
- Ask probing questions
- Identify the Problem
- Formulate Solution(s)
- Suggest the Solution(s)
- Close the sale
Solving a customer’s problem is a practical approach to sales because it focuses on customers’ needs and allows the seller and the salesperson to be the hero.
Customer Service Offers Opportunities to Solve Problems
Providing excellent customer service is another way of solving customer problems. For instance, a survey by Khoros found that 83% of customers agree that they feel more loyal to brands that respond to and resolve their complaints. In short, it should always be the goal of the retailer to identify customer problems and offer solutions. The result is a satisfied customer who will return and tell their friends, family, and coworkers about their experience.
“The probability of selling to an existing, happy customer is 14 times higher than the probability of selling to a new customer.” – Marketing Metrics.
All six of these customer needs are essential. Therefore, retail companies must take the time to focus on providing an exceptional customer experience, offering convenience, and ensuring their product selection meets their customers’ needs. Then, you’ll be well on your way to closing more sales and building loyalty among your customer base. Have you recently made changes in your business that have resulted in better sales or increased customer loyalty?
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